LinkedIn has been called the Facebook for businesspeople. I have a profile there, but I rarely check it, and requests to make a connection (similar to ‘friending’ someone on Facebook) from people I know may sit for months before I notice them. Nonetheless, I occasionally browse my ‘groups’ to see if anything of interest is happening and if people are really putting deals together online.
What I’ve found is a tiny bit of e-commerce and a mega-dose of megalomania. There are a few people who are ‘real players’ trying to expand their reach and grow their database, and many more who, poetically speaking, doth hurl vast quantities of excrement on thee olde message boards to see what might sticketh. Almost as bad are the self-proclaimed message board cops, who apparently have nothing better to do than question the credentials of everyone else who posts.
The former (excrement hurlers, or EH for short) are late-night infomercial graduates who peddle outdated spreadsheets full of assets nobody wants. They get passed around from EH to EH, and most times nobody notices the data is months old and getting more stale by the day. They make statements like “I have direct access to a source”, or “My associate is close to the decision-maker”; what I hear is “I am a Note Broker that has absolutely no clue what I’m doing but maybe if I fake it well enough you won’t figure that out and we can both waste each others’ time.” When asked by the ‘board cops’ to provide details of a deal they’ve worked that has actually funded, the excrement hurlers fall back into the shadows, licking their wounds and searching for another message board to pollute.
The latter (board cops) seem to do about as many deals as the excrement hurlers. I say this because they bad-mouth all the EH posts, but never really say anything constructive, nor do they offer up proof of any successful deals of their own. Considering they have so much time to insult and bully the EHs, I suspect they use LinkedIn as an outlet for all their frustrations because they have no meaningful work to do.
Here is an actual collection of comments from a recent post in the Real Estate Owned (REO) & Note Buyers / Sellers group (spelling and grammar are unchanged from the posting because, well…it’s funnier that way):
“I have relationships with an Asset Manger. You can place a custom order from 11 banks including of course FDIC, fanny and freddie. You can get anything anywhere.”
(BTW – what is an Asset Manger? Is that where Mary and Joseph placed the gifts from the three wise men?)
And the replies from the board cops:
“Anything anywhere? Have you gotten any orders filled thru this great source? And how far from the actual seller are you?”
“Outrageous claims are a dime a dozen in this industry. Once you challenge any of these poseurs they either don’t respond or put up such a smokescreen that it becomes a pure exercise in futility. Unfortunately, these people make it much more difficult for the legitimate buyers and sellers to do business, due to their constant stream of unsupportable claims and general obfuscation.”
“I need everything, everywhere and have over a TRILLION dollars to spend on it all tomorrow. I CAN SHOW YOU PICTURES OF ME AS A KID IN AN ARMORED CAR CARRYING ALL MY MONEY AS A HARD PROOF OF FUNDS. Can you please send me everything at Fannie and Freddie and the FDIC so I can buy it ALL please. I am willing to buy everything at ONE CENT on the dollar, no questions asked – and I can close in 3 days. I know this will ONLY be do-able through a guy like you – so help me make your daydreams come true immediately.”
“And when you wake up and realize you’re dreaming, maybe you want to tell us what you really do for a living, because I cannot see you making any money at this business slinging that mud on the wall. No offense, but the BS has gotten so deep with guys and ladies like you on this network that I have encouraged the ownership to CENSOR all ads being placed on them from now on. Have a great life.”
“I’d like to add my trillion to your order! Interesting that when this guy has been asked whether he has closed anything with this source, there is no response, to say nothing of when confronted to support his claims in any way. And not to put too fine a point to it, but if you have even half a clue as to how Fannie and Freddie operate, you know that you cannot “place orders” with either of them. What a crock! Yet another BS artist who sucks in the naïve and desperate to no end other than continuing to muck up the industry for those who are legitimate.”
“You would think they’d have better things to do than try to make up this nonsense that they know damn well isn’t going to go anywhere.”
“I think I heard of the opportunity to buy the moon for a zillion dollars from someone like the people we have all encountered on this website – waaay too many times. Of course we will have to provide NCND (Non-Circumvent, Non-Disclosure Agreements), LOI (Letter of Intent), POF (Proof of Funds) and pay +13,0001 points to all of the IM’s (intermediaries) that have sent an email to one another (or possibly called each other on the phone) to get to the moon. But it’s certainly doable and they all have an exclusive on it, too. I think FDIC or FANNIE may actually have it available through one of their AM’s (Asset Managers). LOL 4 EVER !!!!!!!!! PURE T-R-A-S-H!!!”
Somewhere the founder of LinkedIn is weeping. Humorous? Yes. Constructive or possessing anything of value? Nope. Just a forum for wannabes. The excrement hurlers wannabe taken for real wheeler dealers, and the board cops wannabe working real deals, but they can’t find any, so they just make fun instead. For that very reason, you’ll never see me posting on these groups. First, I don’t wish to have any affiliation with excrement hurlers, and second, I’m too busy working my own deals to criticize someone else for their lack of same.
I’m sure LinkedIn has facilitated some successful partnerships. I know it has allowed former colleagues to reunite after going their separate ways. Whether it is being utilized as its founder intended is, I guess, a matter of perspective. From my viewpoint, there’s too much talking and not enough doing to commit more than a passing glance to the site. Feel free to share your own insights on LinkedIn in the comments section.
About the Author: Clint Hinman is the President of Proficient Note Buyers LLC, a buyer and broker of non-performing notes/loans and REO. With over 17 years of experience in real estate notes, Clint is part investor, part broker, part consultant, and part plain nuts. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit his website at www.pronotebuyers.com.